What are the chances of getting MD license given these expunged offenses?

Sep 11, 2017
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Hi. I'm thinking of going to medical school or doing a Physician's assistant program in the near future. I have the following offenses that were expunged:

False info to obtain driver's license (plead guilty but case was expunged) and indecent exposure (did not plead guilty. case was expunged). Only the indecent exposure charge was reported to the FBI. Both offenses were due to a mental illness. The mental illness has been satisfactorily treated and I have been completely rehabilitated.

Given these expunged offenses, what are the chances a state's medical board would grant me a MD license. I want to know this beforehand so that I don't go through medical school only to find out that all the hard work would be tossed out the window because they won't grant me a MD license. I would be stuck with huge student loans too.
 

libertyyne

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You should speak with a lawyer a large portion of that is state depenedent. If any of these are felonies it is going to be difficult to get into medical school let alone get licenses.
 

PlutoBoy

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Hi. I'm thinking of going to medical school or doing a Physician's assistant program in the near future. I have the following offenses that were expunged:

False info to obtain driver's license (plead guilty but case was expunged) and indecent exposure (did not plead guilty. case was expunged). Only the indecent exposure charge was reported to the FBI. Both offenses were due to a mental illness. The mental illness has been satisfactorily treated and I have been completely rehabilitated.

Given these expunged offenses, what are the chances a state's medical board would grant me a MD license. I want to know this beforehand so that I don't go through medical school only to find out that all the hard work would be tossed out the window because they won't grant me a MD license. I would be stuck with huge student loans too.
I'm sorry, man. I'm not sure anyone would know. I personally know people with criminal convictions practicing medicine. I would assume that you can get licensed.

By the time you actually need a license the offenses may be deemed old enough to be irrelevant... or not. I would call a few state medical boards to get a sense of what they say. They will not tell you a yes or no answer but you can get an idea.

The boards will want to know about your mental illness and about the offenses.

If it is of any consolation, state medical boards are looking for any excuse to have you licensed and not the other way around.
 
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mehc012

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What the eff is the point of expunging offenses if this is still a question that has to be asked? Our justice system is eff'd.
 

Ophthoseidon

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If it's expunged it's like it didn't happen. As far as I know you don't have to list them. I had a lowly misdimeanor once (non drug related) and was told I didn't have to list it after it was expunged, so I haven't and all has been well.
 

bears1992

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I had a very similar question a few months ago. I got arrested for a felony involving a BB gun and some teenage stupidity 8 years ago. I spoke to a criminal attorney about this as well as my old attorney from my case. My case differs from yours a bit as I went into a pre-trial diversion before ever being charged to technically I was arrested and not charged, but I have a written confession in my police report so it's pretty obvious I did it. My case has been expunged.

I am currently in Florida and I called the licencing office and they said it would not be a problem as long as I put my arrest on my application. The department of health can look at expunged cases so unfortunately most clinical sites and licensing boards will be able to see your case as if it was never expunged. Florida is the only state where medical schools have a right to see expunged records. I also called the VA hospital in my area and the HR rep said they aren't concerned with most charges after 36 months had passed. If he was ok with my felony i imagine he would be ok with your misdemeanor. He also said all VA hospitals should screen applicants similarly.

The only issue you might run into is some states have specific laws about certain crimes that require a waiting period. In Florida, they have waiting periods for domestic violence convictions and healthcare related crimes. You might want to check your state and a few others to see if they have any laws regarding convictions for giving false information. I honestly doubt this would give you a problem. Also, an FBI background check is really only used at a federal level (airport security, gun permit,) so I wouldn't worry about what shows up on that. From talking with my attorney, (at least in Florida) when your case is expunged, your file is moved to the office of the state law enforcement. Anytime the file is to be opened, a court order is needed. Any government agency, including the department of health, and any job requiring an interaction with children are allowed to view the expunged file.

I think the problem you'll run into is reporting it on your medical school applications. Unless you are in Florida, schools aren't going to find out about your conviction and arrests. You will have to report it on your clinical rotation applications (especially for the VA). From what others have said, most clinical sites use a third party company to run a background check and your case won't come up but the VA always uses your fingerprints and sends them to the state law enforcement office. I'm not sure if your school would ever find out if you admitted to a conviction on your rotation apps and what they would do if they found out about it. It's going to really hurt your medical school app if you report it but you don't want to get in three years and then get kicked out if they find out about it.

You should probably find a lawyer that advertises defense of medical students. I found healthcare lawyers that advertised medical school students as previous clients.

And obviously I'm not a lawyer, everything I've said is either from my experience looking up laws or from what the attorneys i talked to told me.

Good Luck!
 

Planes2Doc

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What the eff is the point of expunging offenses if this is still a question that has to be asked? Our justice system is eff'd.
True. Licensing boards are weird. Whether you are getting licensed as a physician or nail technician, they will see everything.

Some people argue that if you have already paid your debt to society through a fine, community service, or incarceration, then you are still getting stigmatized by your past criminal history.
 

workaholic181

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This is the type of thing you should speak to a lawyer about. No one on here is going to be able to give you a definitive answer.
 
OP
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Sep 11, 2017
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Thanks for your replies. Both offenses were misdemeanors and yes, I have heard that medical boards will see expunged records with the FBI. Both offenses happened in 2011 and I probably won't apply to medical boards for licensing for another 9 or 10 years. Both offenses occurred in other states, but The "false info to obtain driver's license" offense was not reported to the FBI.

That offense may come up during a search with private background database companies though. The expungement lawyer that I worked with served 40 of the biggest private background check companies in order to remove the record from their databases and I am going to use the free Expungement Clearinghouse service to remove the record from any of the other big companies. Their website states that they serve 500 companies. This would minimize the chances of the charge coming up if medical boards do use private background check companies in addition to fingerprint based background checks.

However, if the licensing application specifically says to disclose even expunged offenses, then I will probably have to do so, unless a lawyer advises me not to. My other concern is that even if I don't report these offenses on a licensing application that doesn't require me to disclose expunged records, they would still see the details of that offense when they do an FBI records check. I'm thinking that they might be dissuaded from granting me a license, given the nature of the offense, even if the case was dismissed and expunged. However, your replies have given me some hope and consolation and I will consult a lawyer. I'll also call or email a few medical boards to see what they say. Thanks again.
 
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joschar

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However, if the licensing application specifically says to disclose even expunged offenses, then I will probably have to do so, unless a lawyer advises me not to.
Pretty sure you would still have to. Just because a liar tells you to lie doesn't mean lying is what you should do.
 

bears1992

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Pretty sure you would still have to. Just because a liar tells you to lie doesn't mean lying is what you should do.
I agree. My attorney said Florida has very specific instances where you must disclose expunged offences (anything to do with working with children or working for the government which included the department of health). From my experience with your question OP, the only problem you are going to run into is getting into medical school/residency with a conviction. Once you're in, (at-least in Florida) a misdemeanor conviction for lying isn't going to cause any problems.
 
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OP
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Sep 11, 2017
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I agree. My attorney said Florida has very specific instances where you must disclose expunged offences (anything to do with working with children or working for the government which included the department of health). From my experience with your question OP, the only problem you are going to run into is getting into medical school/residency with a conviction. Once you're in, (at-least in Florida) a misdemeanor conviction for lying isn't going to cause any problems.
Do you mean, once I'm accepted into medical school or a residency, it shouldn't cause a problem?
 

bears1992

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Thanks for your replies. Both offenses were misdemeanors and yes, I have heard that medical boards will see expunged records with the FBI. Both offenses happened in 2011 and I probably won't apply to medical boards for licensing for another 9 or 10 years. Both offenses occurred in other states, but The "false info to obtain driver's license" offense was not reported to the FBI.

That offense may come up during a search with private background database companies though. The expungement lawyer that I worked with served 40 of the biggest private background check companies in order to remove the record from their databases and I am going to use the free Expungement Clearinghouse service to remove the record from any of the other big companies. Their website states that they serve 500 companies. This would minimize the chances of the charge coming up if medical boards do use private background check companies in addition to fingerprint based background checks.

However, if the licensing application specifically says to disclose even expunged offenses, then I will probably have to do so, unless a lawyer advises me not to. My other concern is that even if I don't report these offenses on a licensing application that doesn't require me to disclose expunged records, they would still see the details of that offense when they do an FBI records check. I'm thinking that they might be dissuaded from granting me a license, given the nature of the offense, even if the case was dismissed and expunged. However, your replies have given me some hope and consolation and I will consult a lawyer. I'll also call or email a few medical boards to see what they say. Thanks again.
FYI, the FBI will delete your records if you show them an order of expungement. Licensing boards do not use the FBI for background checks and neither do medical schools or hospitals. When I went to get my prints done for my FBI check for my concealed carry, the tech said he only said FBI prints for concealed carry permits and certain government employment. He said most of the prints he does are for healthcare employment which runs the prints through my states law enforcement (FDLE). I'm pretty sure Florida is the only state that requires fingerprints as I see most background check sites say they need fingerprints for Florida healthcare programs. Call your states licencing board and ask about your case.
 
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bears1992

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Do you mean, once I'm accepted into medical school or a residency, it shouldn't cause a problem?
Yes. Like everyone on this site, I'm not a lawyer and I can only tell you what my attorney told me (again applied only to Florida). When I looked up licensing in Florida they had very specific offences that required a waiting period. I don't think there were any offences that barred someone completely. The only misdemeanors I saw with a waiting period were crimes against children, healthcare related crimes and domestic violence. My state has their own website with all of the statutes and it's easy to do your own research. My attorney actually used this site to make sure the information he was giving me was still current. You should check to see if your state has something similar.
 
OP
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Sep 11, 2017
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FYI, the FBI will delete your records if you show them an order of expungement. Licensing boards do not use the FBI for background checks and neither do medical schools or hospitals.
My lawyer did show the FBI the order of expungement and the record was deleted. I can confirm that, because when I did an FBI check for a volunteering opportunity and a self check, the record did not show up. However, It's my understanding that government agencies (like state medical boards) can still see the expunged record when they do a FBI background check. The private sector, including medical schools, can't see the expunged record if they do a FBI check.

Licensing boards do not use the FBI for background checks...
Actually, I believe they do. :)

I'll follow your advice and see if I can dig up some research on the medical board sites like you indicated. Thanks. I appreciate it.
 

bears1992

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My lawyer did show the FBI the order of expungement and the record was deleted. I can confirm that, because when I did an FBI check for a volunteering opportunity and a self check, the record did not show up. However, It's my understanding that government agencies (like state medical boards) can still see the expunged record when they do a FBI background check. The private sector, including medical schools, can't see the expunged record if they do a FBI check.



Actually, I believe they do. :)

I'll follow your advice and see if I can dig up some research on the medical board sites like you indicated. Thanks. I appreciate it.
Maybe for your state, but my state runs your fingerprints through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's records which is where my expunged arrest is. Florida has a weird background check system where they deem background checks on 3 levels. Level 1 is just a SSN third party check, level 2 is a state run check with your fingerprints and a level 3 is something with the CIA/NSA (I honestly don't know what a level 3 is for or what it does). A level 2 check is used for any healthcare employment as any healthcare job I've seen in Florida has directions on how to have your fingerprints taken for a level 2 check. Again, this is pretty useless is you don't live in Florida.
 
OP
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Sep 11, 2017
12
2
Maybe for your state, but my state runs your fingerprints through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's records which is where my expunged arrest is. Florida has a weird background check system where they deem background checks on 3 levels. Level 1 is just a SSN third party check, level 2 is a state run check with your fingerprints and a level 3 is something with the CIA/NSA (I honestly don't know what a level 3 is for or what it does). A level 2 check is used for any healthcare employment as any healthcare job I've seen in Florida has directions on how to have your fingerprints taken for a level 2 check. Again, this is pretty useless is you don't live in Florida.
OK. Thanks for the info.
 
OP
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Sep 11, 2017
12
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In relation to residency, Does the ERAS, NRMP, or SOAP applications see expunged FBI records the way state medical boards do? On the ERAS applications, is it legally appropriate to state "No" to a "Have you had any convictions?" question since both offenses were expunged in my case? I am asking this because the group conducting the ERAS, unlike state medical boards, are not government agencies and thus would not see expunged FBI records through the fingerprint check, right? It's my understanding that doing a residency with government hospitals like the VA would necessitate finger print based FBI checks and they would see even expunged cases.

How about medical schools? Would they see expunged records from the FBI check, based on finger prints?

Thanks for the replies.
 

libertyyne

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In relation to residency, Does the ERAS, NRMP, or SOAP applications see expunged FBI records the way state medical boards do? On the ERAS applications, is it legally appropriate to state "No" to a "Have you had any convictions?" question since both offenses were expunged in my case? I am asking this because the group conducting the ERAS, unlike state medical boards, are not government agencies and thus would not see expunged FBI records through the fingerprint check, right? It's my understanding that doing a residency with government hospitals like the VA would necessitate finger print based FBI checks and they would see even expunged cases.

How about medical schools? Would they see expunged records from the FBI check, based on finger prints?

Thanks for the replies.
This seems like a question that would be best answered by a lawyer. State Medical Boards are not state agencies. Residency programs may have affiliated relationships with VA hospitals where you might go through a rotation, in which case you would still go through the background check. Hospitals may choose to conduct their own background checks based on fingerprints. I am unsure if there are state laws granting hospitals access to expunged records .

AMCAS distinctly says not to disclose expunged records. However some medical schools get around this by asking for arrest records.
 
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